I love organization. An organized, uncluttered, clean space is my ideal. I will spend extra time at night picking up, putting toys away, cleaning the kitchen, and folding laundry just so the space will be relaxing when I get out of bed the next morning. This slight obsession with organization has spilt over into my packing style and that is a very good thing given that both nature and nurture and have pushed me in the direction of being an over-packer. Well, that and arriving at my final destination and staring at a suitcase full of clothes and having nothing to wear. (Seriously, how do I have 7 blouses and no pants?!). A few too many of those scenarios and I started throwing everything I own into the biggest suitcase I could find and paying bag weight fees. Frustrated and with an aching back, I decided there had to be a better way. There is. It takes me longer to pack now than it used to, but I confidently arrive at my destination knowing I have outfits appropriate for the weather and planned itinerary. No more work suits to a ball game or mini skirts to the boardroom (or last minute trips to J. Crew to avoid either). First, I plan out my itinerary for each day as detailed as possible. Then I check the weather each day and add alternative plans for potential weather changes. It looks something like this. Taking into account the itinerary and the weather, I determine what I will wear each day including, shoes, bag, jewelry, and any other accessories. Using cut up note cards, I create a label for each outfit (ex: Thursday, all day OR Friday, day time OR Friday, date night downtown). Last, I lay out each outfit individually, trying on any as needed to confirm fit and look, and then photograph them. Sometimes I just use my phone and sometimes (especially for longer trips), I use my camera and then compile a “look book” on my computer. Keep the outfit you will wear on the plane set out for easy access that morning. For the actual packing, I use the roll method. I have seen a lot of tutorials pop up about these over the last year or so. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, I really like PureWow’s – they keep it short! This is longer and more daunting than it sounds, but has really streamlined my packing and made the actual trip much more relaxing. Sidenote: for all the things that cannot be pre-packed, I have a notecard where I add items as I think of them, especially those I will pack right before leaving the house. I cross them off as they make it in my luggage and check to make sure the list is all crossed off before getting in the car. See y’all in Austin! Bon voyage!